Nikon files patents for 10-30mm and 7-13mm lens for mirrorless cameras

Nikon filed a patent application 20110116172 (Japan, US versions) for a 10-30mm f/3.3-5.6 and 7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 lenses:

Nikon 10-30mm f/3.3-5.6

Nikon 10-30mm f/3.3-5.6

Nikon 7-13mm f/3.5-5.6

Are those two lenses for Nikon's mirrorless solution? Almost: the image height of both lenses is 7.96mm (sensor diagonal of 15.92mm) which suggests a crop factor of 2.8x. Previous patents and rumors indicated a crop factor of 2.5-2.6x based on a sensor with a diagonal of 17mm. Nikon is either obfuscating their patents or they have different mirrorless solutions in terms of sensor size (even though the difference is only about 1mm).

Patents details:

Nikon 10-30mm f/3.3-5.6

  • Focal length: 10.30 - 29.10mm
  • Aperture: 3.31 - 5.78
  • Angle of  view: 77.58 - 30.52 °
  • Image height: 7.962mm
  • Total lens length: 73.80 - 72.19mm
  • Back focus: 18.7255 - 39.4394mm
  • Zoom ratio: 2.825x
  • 3 aspherical elements

Nikon 7-13mm f/3.5-5.6

  • Focal length:6.90 - 12.61mm
  • Aperture: 3.62 - 5.77
  • Angle of view: 98.83 - 63.97 °
  • Image height: 7.962mm
  • Total lens length: 70.23 - 69.98mm
  • Back Focus: 14.6644 - 24.7483mm
  • Zoom ratio: 1.828x
  • 4 aspherical elements
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  • Interesting… 7mm at those crop factors is ~18mm on full-frame, right? Sounds do-able.

    • No… this image height (image circle radius) suggests a 2.8x crop factor. So the lenses are equivalent to the following lenses on FF:

      28-85mm f/9-16
      19-35mm f/9.8-16

      Woo hoo… can’t wait! On a serious note… this is hilarious… Nikon is following Olympus in producing small sensor’ed cameras with extremely slow lenses… sheesh.

  • NoFunBen

    so i guess this would be the kit lens 10-30mm, and a wide angle 7-13.
    if they have three when the camera comes out then a 30-100 would completed the set
    they better be really small, any idea what size?

  • A crop factor of 2.5-2.6x indicate me I will not buy nothing from this Nikon line.

    • Yep, all I want is a digital Nikon FM2n — a full frame camera stripped down to its bare minimum. Not even a display. Oh boy, I guess I’ll have to keep dreaming.

      • I agree. The FM2 is a perfect size and lasts forever on batteries. If a digital SLR camera with a great meter existed in such a body, it would be so much easier to just take photos. The current crop of high to medium end SLR’s are too large, or else their viewfinders are too small.

        Simple: no autofocus, just automatic metering (and I wouldn’t mind automatic aperture indexing, either).

      • c.d.embrey

        Ain’t-never-gonna-happen. Not a big enough market.

        Leica has people lining-up to buy the M9, but that doesn’t mean Nikon could sell a FM2-D or a S2-D.

        If you want a FM2, just buy an FM2 and start shooting film. My two most used cameras are a Nikon F100 and a Yashica T3. BTW even though I have 2 DSLRs, my most used digital camera is an iPod G4.

        • That’s the problem these days with the Japanese companies. All about mass production. As great as the M9 is, rangefinders have their limitations. I’m pretty sure there would be a market for a “minimalist” FX Nikon. But it’s all about numbers, isn’t it? Maybe the rumors are true and the M10 will have some sort of electronic viewfinder or whatever those things are called.

      • Ban

        buy a film scanner. $200.

        • M Jesper

          plus film and developing as much as i would should digital. $2000.
          plus the time i’d be busy scanning. $2000.

          • M Jesper


      • You want a camera large enough to fit a full frame sensor for use with this and its 2.x crop factor? Plus it’s likely mirrorless? Why, oh why?

        I want something way, way, way smaller – between a point ‘n shoot and a four-thirds, as per the sensor – and I want one model as a digital version of the Nikonos (functionally, underwater, but smaller). TIA, Nikon!

        • explorer76

          I think you got that wrong. The posters want a digital FF camera which is the same size as the FM2n instead of the big and bulky FF DSLRs of today.

          • Yep – Got it… thx for the correction on my misread :-).

    • AK

      Agreed. Hopefully they can come out with a mirrorless APS soon.

  • AnoNemo

    I have a feeling that Nikon missed the boat on this one. I would welcome a larger sensor solution but with current tech the lens would make the “package” large. I think that is exactly why sony is interested in lens design that has liquid lens. With that you can reduce the lens bulkiness but then again when will those lenses be produced?

    Maybe I am wrong but this crop factor reminds me a little bit to the coolpix line.

    On the other hand, I am kind of surprised that there is absolutely no rumors about the FX dslr line. If an august announcement is in picture by now we should have some whispers.

  • santela

    looks like 2.5x is very likely. glad I got the NEX5 a year ago.

  • >Nikon is either obfuscating their patents or they have different mirrorless solutions in terms of sensor size (even though the difference is only about 1mm).

    Swappable sensors?

    • no, maybe they are/were working on different mirrorless cameras before deciding which path to take

      • AnoNemo

        Yes, but basically Nikon is running into the same problem using different lenses. With current speed of releasing lenses I cannot see how this strategy will become a success. This is exactly the problem with the NEX and m3/4 … the lack of lenses. Sony here is far ahead by opening up their specifications to lens manufacturers. I cannot imagine Nikon would do something similar. So if Nikon decides to go along that route then the new system will lack of lenses. Now, if they make adapters then it will kill the purpose of small size. I think Nikon is really behind and we cannot see and/or guess what they are up to. I sense disappointing coolpixish results

        • Twoomy

          M43’s lack of lenses? Between Pany and Oly, you have several primes, two ultra-wide angles (no other mirrorless system has this), macro, fisheye, and even a telephoto superzoom with more primes coming out in the next month. All they need to round things out is a brighter general zoom and a tilt-shift. 🙂

          Sony’s got nothing on that.

          • broxibear

            Hi Twoomy,
            You’re right…I always thought Nikon missed a great opportunity by not making a m43 camera.
            Instead of changing all their system m43 owners could keep all their old lenses and just upgrade bodies when needed ?

          • AnoNemo

            Twoomy, I compared it to the NEX. Yes m43 has plenty of lenses.

            But since I mentioned the NEX, they just got a macro and Zeiss and others are coming out with lenses because sony is playing an open game here. I cannot see Nikon would do the same

            • twoomy

              True enough. I’m still confused about the crop factor though. If the sensor is really a x2.5 or x2.8, then they are trying to create a new niche, rather than competing with NEX or M43 (or their own DX lenses for that matter).

              Reminds me of the old Coolpix lens adapters for the 990. Fun options to play with, but not quite a professional camera system. I’m really interested to see how this plays out.

            • AnoNemo


              I think Thom nicely summarizes the issues here.

              I kind of agree with him on this one. Definately one thing is sure, Nikon is late …. (again)

            • Sky

              They will compete with NEX in the eyes of customers. All the cameras shall fall in the same group and people won’t really care if sensor is x2.5 or x1.5 as long as body is small (Sony rules the world ATM with NEX C3 even despite of having bigger sensor than m43 developers) and image quality is high (Nikon might loose this very badly on highest ISOs).

              We’ll see how it goes but I doubt that in the mind of average customer NEX and Nikon mirrorless ever will be seen as something completely different not competing with eachother. It will be this or that not this and that.

      • LGO

        If one thinks of Nikon’s new mirrorless camera as a complement to a standard Nikon dSLR whether FX or DX, then the lack of a full range of lenses is not a big an obstacle as one might think.

        A few fast pancake primes plus some zoom is really all that is needed … specially if Nikon develops an adapter that would allow the use of its FX/DX AF-S lenses on its mirrorless body.

        • c.d.embrey

          Slow zooms are not the answer for this camera, but some fast 1.4/1.8 primes would be nice.

          I don’t think an adapter to F-mount is needed. I can’t see many people wanting to use this camera with a 200-400 for BIF or Surfing 8-0

          • LGO

            To differentiate itself from its nearest m4/3 rivals, the initial Nikon lens would have a constant f/2.8 aperture (or f/2.8-4.0 aperure at worst). A 24-85mm f/2.8 or even a 24-105mm f/2.8 35mm equivalent with VR would be quite enticing and would easily cover 70-80% of the market requirements.

            Despite the constant f/2.8 aperture, such a zoom lens would still be small and compact – the benefit and advantage of using a smaller 2.8x crop sensor (which some do not seem not appreciate here).

            For those wanting a larger-sized sensor mirrorless, if Nikon does well with a 2.8x mirrorless camera, a DX or even FX-sized sensor mirrorless would be a logical follow-up model.

            • c.d.embrey

              All I can comment on is the two lens shown. A 10-30mm _f/3.3-5.6_ and 7-13mm _f/3.5-5.6_ , not a hoped for 2.8.

              “… the benefit and advantage of using a smaller 2.8x crop sensor (which some do not seem not appreciate here).” Very true, the Olympus 35-100 f2 comes to mind. I’d like an 8mm f1.4, a 12mm 1.4 or an 18mm 1.4, but the patents are for slow variable aperture consumer kit lenses.

            • LGO

              The patent for the slow lenses may be simply an intent to mislead. Nikon would be making a mistake if its initial zoom lenses have small apertures. Not only will the lack of a shallow DOF be a concern but lens diffraction will arrive much earlier. Shooting a slow zoom lens on its long end will mean shooting wide-open always as anything beyond this will likely mean hitting lens diffraction (unless the Nikon mirrorless sensor is 5-6 MP only which is unlikely).

              The 2.8x smaller sensor should make it easy for Nikon to release fast light pancake primes. The primes you list sounds wonderful.

          • LGO

            I should add that with an adapter, I am able to use the Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G and the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D with my m4/3 GH2. Though MF only, these are the 35mm equivalent of a 70mm f/1.8 and 100mm f/1.4 lenses.

            The same lenses on a 2.8x crop Nikon mirrorless would be a 98mm f/1.8 and 140mm f/1.4. With AF suported through the adapter … what is not to like? 🙂

            • LGO

              Nikon adapter supporting Nikon AF-S lens in Nikon mirrorless and assuming a 2.8x crop factor:

              35mm f/1.8G = 98mm f/1.8G

              50mm f/1.8G = 140mm f/1.8G

              85mm f/1.8G = 238mm f/1.8G

              Though these are not pancake-sized, these inexpensive primes would still be small and compact enough. Utilizing only the center sweet-spot section of these lenses, the Nikon mirrorless would have very sharp images from edge to edge.

  • D7000 User

    I just visited Nikon Singapore, displayed were the usual pro line. I’ve been holding the D700 on display and the Nikon guy asked me “can I help you?”. I replied, yes, I am waiting for it’s replacement. He answered, “just keep on waiting, and keep on saving”…with a smile.

    I am patiently waiting, my savings is short of 1k only to afford D3S, but I like the smaller body of D700 🙂

    • I think A LOT of people have already ask him that question.

      • D7000 User

        I did NOT ask him any question, 🙂

  • RevKrev123

    Here is the way I see it.

    Nikon is finally making a decent Coolpix camera.

    How many people loved the P7000 but wished it had just a tiny bit better specs and an interchangeable lens mount? I mean with it’s current small ass sensor the images are pretty damn decent. What better way to truly kill Canon’s G12/G11/G* line than a truly professional Coolpix camera.

    Seriously why would a working professional who uses his D3X/D3S for sports/fashion/whatever want with a mirror-less camera? Sure travel/street photographers would love it but really a professional mirrorless solution would only truly be for prosumers and could not replace a professional DSLR (at this point in time).

    Why would Nikon want to try and launch a professional mirror-less line to compete with it’s flagship/highly expensive DSLRs?

    If you look at this camera as a high-end Coolpix, it gets me excited.

    • broxibear

      Hi RevKrev123,
      You asked “why would a working professional who uses his D3X/D3S for sports/fashion/whatever want with a mirror-less camera?”
      The reason I wanted one was not to replace my D3, but I wanted a carry with me all the time camera with the least compromise on quality and with all the controls I normally had on a dslr…I opted for a GF1.
      If someone says you can’t get good enough quality from a camera like the GF1 then look at some of Terry Richardson’s images shot on that camera
      I get the feeling Nikon aren’t really interested in the mirrorless section, it all sounds a bit half hearted which usually results in failure.

      • You can definitely get great images from the GF1. I only wish an optical/hidden EVF was built into these tiny cameras as focusing at arms length is about as intuitive as paddling a canoe with a toothpick.

        • broxibear

          Hi shigzeo,
          I haven’t bought the GF1 viewfinder yet (it’s bloody expensive for what it is at around £160) but I will. What I do is use the rear screen as a viewfinder, what I mean by that is that I put the camera up to my face (about 15cm from my eye) and hold it in the same was as you would a rangefinder instead of arms length as most do…sound odd but it works really well.

          • c.d.embrey

            Thanks !!! 15cm is about 6 inches, so that sounds a lot better than arms length. Bracing both elbows to your chest would steady the camera.

          • LGO

            @ Broxibear
            @ c.d.embrey

            I used a Hoodman HoodLoupe that I bought for use with my Nikon dSLR with the rear LCD screen of the Panasonic LX3/Canon S-90. I reckon this would work as well with your GF1.

            But I eventually sold my LX3/S-90 and now use a GH2 and X100 as my compact camera. The GH2 plus the 20mm f/1.7 is quite a combo and would be a good benchmark for Nikon to target when it designs its mirrorless camera.

      • mikils

        the shot is truly impressive; can’t say I’m too taken with the girl, though.

      • c.d.embrey

        Here’s a NSFW shot by Olivier Zahm for Christian Lacroix Lingerie Who says you can’t shoot fashion with a m4/3 GF1 camera.

        • broxibear

          Hi c.d.embrey,
          Thanks for the link, I’ve not seen that site before.
          I only got my GF1 a few months ago but the more I use it the more impressed I am…since Panasonic discontinued it the price shot up, and no one like the GF2 which makes the GF1 even more sought after.
          I got the black GF1 inc 20mm f1.7 for £445, amazon are now selling it for £800
          It’s become a cult camera through word of mouth rather than marketing as in the case of the Fuji X100.

      • lottery

        just cuz someone can get great images on an iphone etc doesn’t mean YOU can or even that guy can consistently.

        • broxibear

          Hi lottery,
          Your post “just cuz someone can get great images on an iphone etc doesn’t mean YOU can or even that guy can consistently.” is dificult to understand, maybe you can expand on what exactly you mean ? If you’re suggesting it’s the photographer and not the equipment then you’re right, that’s always been the case.
          The discussuion was purely about image quality and wether the image quality was good enough for certain applications.

  • BornOptimist

    From page 75 in the pdf from the US patent, it says Y = 7.962 (noted that this can be any value, not necessarily mm), but on the same side the text says “y = denotes a vertical heigth from the optical axis”. Is “Y” = “2y”? if not then this lens cover a height of 15.9, which makes this lens a DX-sized lens

  • It’s possible that there are working for a way so that lens can fit both the mirrorless camera and the current DSLRs

  • broxibear

    Nikon UK have added an interesing article to their support section about counterfeit accessories and how to identify them…

    • thanks for the link broxibear

      • AnoNemo

        Broxibear should get a “mini NR Admin” title. He posts so many interesting articles/links.

        • I agree, I already asked Broxibear if he is wiling to write posts for NikonRumors. Maybe one day he will change his mind 🙂

        • broxibear

          Hi AnoNemo,
          You’re both embarrassing me now lol… I’m a freelancer and I just can’t give nikonrumors the time it deserves. It would be unfair of me to say yes and then say I haven’t got the time…I’ll keep posting the links I come across.

          • AnoNemo

            I did not want to embarrass you 🙂 I just noticed that you often post very interesting and actual news/article/links related to Nikon/photography. These posts make this site/threads better … especially when rumors are lacking 😉

          • No problem Broxibear, I understand – I am still thankful for all the links you post – I have used many of them online.

  • 2.8x crop factor what is the biggest enlargement you can make? 8 x 12?

    • Trevor

      Enlargement is related to resolution, not crop factor.

  • Carlos R B

    Endless patents and no camera…its getting boring….by the time is released, sony will already have their 24mp nex 7 on the market….

    • AnoNemo

      Carlos R B,
      I read the rumors on the sister site that sony is planning to release the NEX7 with 24mp. If this turned out to be true then it will caught Nikon pants down.

      My worry is that Sony just released today the second generation of the NEX just one year after the first. In terms of learning sony is far ahead….not to mention that the sensor size of the sony is not a compromise (APS-C) and according to Thom Hogan the NEX by far provides the best image quality in this category.

      Now let’s add a 24mp sensor in this picture at an affordable price…The question is where is Nikon?

      • Carlos R B

        Yep, thats the main question…so far sony is only lacking few lenses and better UI and direct controls…the nex7 is told to be better in this regard. Like you said Nikon probably be caught with their pants down….shame.

        • Global

          Do you realize how long it took Nikon to make an FX digital camera? 😉

          • Carlos R B


  • Carlos R B

    3,3-5,6 equals tiny lens (with tiny sensor) = mid to high iso= noise (with this sensor)….lets hope not….

  • MK

    about 1 year ago i would be excited. but after a year, photokina, more empty rumors, this one is just a major snooze festival. unless nikon decides to leak something more substantial besides patents for lenses that may never exist, i will be buying into mft system.

    hopefully they are reading this forum, because after olympus announces new products on 6/30 i will be making my decision probably sometime in the middle of july. im not waiting for august – sorry nikon i don’t have a turtles patience. i waited for photokina, til april, til the cows came home, and im done waiting. on top of all that – the p7000 is doo doo compared to LX5, so my confidence in nikon is waning.

  • c.d.embrey

    When the rumors of a small mirrorless PROFESSIONAL Nikon surfaced I was excite. The more I see things like these patents the less excited I become. Slow variable aperture zooms don’t sound very PRO to me!

    For shooting on the street, I try to look like a tourist. No large Pro body, no 70-200 zoom, no large entourage. No-one is going to ask to see your permit if you are shooting with a GF1 or NEX 5.

    At this point the NEX 7 may turn-out to be my on-the-street-camera. Because the E-mount is used on Sony’s new NEX FS100 video camera there are plenty of lens adapters for everything including Nikon and PL-mount.

    • BornOptimist

      Nikon has never said it would be PRO. This is just another one of those rumors that has turned into facts. The closest to official statement Nikon has said is quite contrary, that it will NOT be targetted against PRO. Just look up Mr Goto’s interview from photokina (a summary of this interview was posted here on NikonRumors earlier this year). He is the head of Nikon’s R&D dept. so he should know.

      • c.d.embrey

        At this point, it really doesn’t make much difference what Mr Goto said. As I mentioned I’m looking at the NEX system (including the FS100 video camera), and several people have already gone with m4/3.

        Real product trumps vaporware every time.

  • broxibear

    $20,000 worth of Nikon gear left to burn in orbit by ISS astronauts…
    “astronaut Paolo Nespoli took some pretty heavy hardware with him up in his recent trip to to the ISS.
    Nespoli went up armed with (at the very least) a Nikond D3S, a Nikon D3S, a Nikon D2Xs, and a 24-120mm lens (with others to be sure). Of those, the D3x was used to photograph the ISS as he jetted off on the Russian Soyuz shuttle, at which point the camera and lens were left behind in the orbital module, to burn up in re-entry.
    We don’t know if the other two cameras and doubtless lenses were left behind on the space ship, but you can bet that they’re never coming back to earth. Our back of the envelope calculations put those three bodies and single lens at just under $20,000 in street price — and we bet there are a few more lenses involved.”

    • AnoNemo

      Try to do this on mother earth … you just throw your camera in the air and you won’t hear knocking on the floor. 🙂 At least we know nobody will steal that gear.

  • 3.5 ~ 5.6 again this crap? Constant aperture Nikon, XXI century, wake up…

  • broxibear

    Girlfriend trashes a guy’s Nikon lenses after a fight (ouch)…

    • nau

      mmmm guess who is out of the door!
      cant even imagine what can count as a payback for such a horror

  • martin

    rather 2.5 crop, not 2.8

    Patents details include angle of view data. Didn’t do proper calculations, but looking at a table, this smells like a 2.5 crop.

    That table, by the way

    Anyway, any 2 dot something crop is, hm, let’s say croppy. Or so.

    • Assuming the sensor is 3:2 ratio, with a image circle radius of 7.962mm, the biggest sensor you can fit in to it is 13.2 x 8.8mm which is a 2.72x crop.

      If the sensor is a 4:3 ratio, the biggest sensor you can fit in to that image circle would be 12.7 x 9.5mm, which is a 2.27x crop.

      But I agree… this stuff is worse than FourThirds!

  • Furtin

    Sheesh! And there I was thinking that the time of producing 5.6 is done … I will never touch any lens with more than 4. So the “pancake” might have a 2.8 instead of a 1.4? Hello?

  • Jallabert

    My worries and what I find strange, is as someone else also said.. It’s pretty cold regarding rumors about the new pro-line. If they are supposed to be released in about 2 months, shouldn’t there be more rumors? Is there anyone here who knows the past regarding to this matter? Does Nikon always manage to keep information tight up to the actual release date?

    • broxibear

      Hi Jallabert,
      Nikon have always kept product information close to their chest and any “leaks” were often designed leaks to cause a buzz around a new model, apart from the AFS 50mm f1.8G information which seemed like a genuine mistake.
      The earthquake caused so many problems and uncertainty that any rumours before the earthquake don’t mean anything…timelines went out the window as did some actual products.
      It’s not just Nikon it’s Canon, Sony and others.
      My advice to anyone waiting for a D800 is to become friends with your local camera shop manager/owner, and get onto the unofficial waiting list so when it’s finally released you’ll be one of the first in the queue.
      Which new product are you waiting for Jallabert ?

  • broxibear
  • May be it’s competitor is XL-2.

  • nathan

    I was really excited about Nikon’s mirrorless camera thinking the sensor was going to be at least APC size, maybe a little less. When I heard it was this tiny thing I decided I didn’t need this camera at all. I’ll continue to use my cell phone as the quality will probably be a little less, but the convenience factor is much higher.

  • Jallabert

    Thank you for the answer broxibear.
    I got a D80 which is well used, and that I feel need an (big) upgrade, as photo is a big hobby for me. I will buy a nikon full frame, and I even prepared by buying the 70-200 Vr2. If it will be the D800 or the D4 I am not sure off yet. D4 is the main target for me, but I think I need to see the price tag first. A D3s + 25% price would be ok for me, but if say they double the price I think it will be impossible to get both the camera and keep my wife…

    • broxibear

      Hi Jallabert,
      I’m pretty sure the D4 will be less than a D3s + 25% so you should be ok as far as cost goes, the difficult thing will be getting hold of one…there’s no way it’ll be double the price of a D3s.

      • Jallabert

        Thank u once again. I think I will do as you say, and try to get on a unofficial list at the local dealer…

        If you had to put your money at which month the D4 will be released, which month would you put your money at?

        • broxibear

          Hi Jallabert,
          “If you had to put your money at which month the D4 will be released, which month would you put your money at?”
          Hmmm, remember announced and released are two different things. You might get an earlier announcement but I think the D4 will be on sale in April 2012…Thom Hogan reckons it’ll be slightly earlier in 2012 ?

  • sflxn

    Small sensor… I don’t know about that. If Nikon expect to do well with a camera with such a small sensor, they better have all the i dotted and t crossed. Image quality and feature set better be impeccable. Viewfinder must be present and executed excellently. Ergonomics must be unmatched. The lenses must be great and a good set at launch. Firmware better be solid. The camera’s form factor must be desirable (e.g. Fuji X100).

    They cannot match m43 or NEX product launch with a smaller sensor and do well. With a smaller sensor, the launch must be spectacular. Right now, I’m very skeptical. Nikon has not shown the ability to make a great camera outside of DSLRs yet.

  • Kosta

    From my point of view, the problem with mirrorless cameras is not the bodies size but the combination of a body with the basic 3X zoom kit len, is much bigger than o pocket sized camera. So I guess if Nikon makes really small lenses they will have success. The 2.7 crop factor works in favor for acceptable- good IQ (better than premium compacts, Olympus XZ1) and small size.

    Sorry for my bad English

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